I don’t even know how to begin this post. America is the only place I’ve lived and the only country I’ve known. America is the place that my ancestors built through their blood, sweat, tears and forced enslavement. America is also the place that has caused me the most hurt and pain. Racism is destroying the fabric of this country. It is supposed to be the home of the free and the land of the brave, but how free can a country be when one group or groups of people are being oppressed simply because of the color of their skin or because of systems in place to hold that group back. Are any of us free when one group of people are not afforded all of their freedoms?
America is my country just as much as it is any other person’s country. The last few months have seen this country divided and almost torn apart by racism. The pandemic has also revealed the dirty secrets of America as it relates to its treatment of black people in this country. It’s very disheartening to think that in 2020 I am still dealing with the same or worse racism that my grandparents dealt with in the 1900’s during the time of Jim Crow and segregation. So today, I had to ask myself is America my country?
We are at the place in this country where we need to decide who we want to be as a country. Do we want to be a country that is inclusive, fair, and just for all; or do we want to be a hate-filled, divisive, corrupt, and unjust country? I am hopeful that we will decide to be the former; inclusive, fair, and just country. This means that the contributions of each citizen of the country and each group of people has to be respected and their truth told. This means that we all have to take the time to learn about each other’s cultures and diverse experiences in this country. We also have to recognize that one race is not superior than another. There is no majority or minority race. We are all in this together.
So, I have to say that America is my country. As my country, I am going to do all I can to make sure America is the inclusive, fair, and socially just country that I know it can be. I challenge each of you to think about America being your country and what work you can do to help America be an inclusive, fair, and socially just country for all.
Proud to be an American,